The Hoops HD Report: Final Four Edition

Chad and the panel begin by talking about some of the coaching moves that have taken place, as well as some of the major jobs that are still open such as Georgia Tech and Vanderbilt.  From there, they briefly review the finals of the CIT, CBI, Vegas 16, and NIT Tournaments.  Then, they take an in depth look at Oklahoma, Villanova, North Carolina, and Syracuse by reviewing how they got to the Final Four and how they think things will play out this upcoming weekend.

 

And for all you radio lovers, below is an mp3 version of the show…

Pass the ball to Pitchin Paul: HoopsHD interviews Frank Blatcher about Paul Arizin

Most teams who end up winning an NCAA title depend on their veteran leadership, but they also require fresh infusions of talent, which is why they try to bring in McDonald’s All-Americans.  Villanova is no different: Coach Jay Wright already had SR PG Ryan Arcidiacano ready to lead the way this year, but he still recruited FR G Jalen Brunson to become a Wildcat and help them reach the Final 4 for the 1st time since 2009.  Approximately 70 years ago the future phenom freshman on campus in the Main Line was Paul Arizin, although the only thing he could have gotten from McDonald’s was a Happy Meal due to the fact that he did not even play much high school basketball after trying/failing to stick with the team as a senior. As a junior he helped his team reach the Elite 8, and as a senior he was named national POY after leading the country with 25.3 PPG.  He continued to dominate in the NBA: 17.2 PPG en route to being named NBA ROY, 2-time scoring champ in 1952 and 1957, the 1956 NBA title as a member of the Warriors, 10 All-Star Games, and induction into the Hall of Fame in 1978.  Arizin passed away in 2006, but HoopsHD’s Jon Teitel got to chat with Arizin’s friend (and 1954 NCAA Final 4 hero) Frank Blatcher about his great jump shot and his legacy as 1 of the 50 greatest players in NBA history. 

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Arizin tried out for the basketball team at La Salle High School as a senior but only played a few games before being cut: why did it take him so long to develop into a great player? He told me that he was never that good in high school so he did not blame the coach. We started playing a lot of ball at “The Plaza” in South Philly after high school and he would regularly score over 25 PPG. The Villanova coach invited him to come to his college to play: Paul told him that he was already there but was just not on the team!

He later developed a jump shot while playing in local pickup games (which few players used at that time): why did he decide to incorporate that into his repertoire, and what made it so effective? He played the pivot during pickup games and you could simply not stop him once he got the ball with his back to the basket. He was just able to hang in the air forever.

In 1950 at Villanova he was named All-American/national POY after leading the nation with 25.3 PPG: what did it mean to him to win such outstanding individual honors? He was very proud of that because nobody worked harder on his game. I was proud of him as well even though I was in the Navy at the time. When I told my own teammates that we were buddies it really impressed them!

In 1952 in the 2nd-ever All-Star Game he scored 26 PTS in 32 minutes en route to leading his East team to a win and being named MVP: how was he able to play his best against the best? I got to play 1-on-1 with him over Christmas break that season. He had developed a 1-handed shot from the outside and made several in a row over me. It was just another arrow in his quiver that made him a complete player. He said that he liked to play against me because I gave him a tough time.

After leading the league in PPG/MPG/FG% for the Warriors in 1952, he missed the following 2 seasons due to joining the Marines during the Korean War: how did he feel about leaving the league, and what impact did the war have on him both on and off the court? He was a solid citizen. I was planning to attend Temple but Paul was the person who helped La Salle get in touch with me, which is how I ended up there.

In the 1956 Finals he scored 26 PTS in a 10-PT win over Ft. Wayne in the decisive Game 5 to clinch the title: what did it mean to him to win a title? He must have been ecstatic because it was the culmination of everything that he had wanted to do. The key ingredient on that team was Tom Gola, who I played with at La Salle.

In the 1960 Eastern Division Finals he scored 22 PTS in a 2-PT loss to Boston in the decisive Game 6 at home: was it frustrating for him to keep running into those legendary Celtics teams in the playoffs every year? I am sure that it was: the Celtics had a magnificent team.

On March 2, 1962 he scored 16 PTS as a teammate of Wilt Chamberlain during his famous 100-PT game in a win over the Knicks: how was he able to finish in double-figures with Wilt getting the ball a majority of the time? Paul probably got his points during the 1st half while it was a regular game because in the 2nd half the team just kept getting the ball to Wilt on every possession.

He chose to retire rather than move with the Warriors to San Francisco, and became a marketing representative for IBM: why was he so opposed to moving, and how did he like working in the real world? He was a regular guy who went to mass every day so he decided that it was better for him to stay in Philly and be near his family/friends.

He also played 3 seasons with the Camden Bullets of the Eastern Professional Basketball League, winning MVP in 1963 and winning the title in 1964: how was he able to be so dominant even after retiring from the NBA? He and I kept playing basketball for a long time after he retired. Had he gone to San Francisco he would have kept playing in the NBA for a couple of more years so Camden was perfect for him.

He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1978 and named 1 of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History in 1996: when people look back on his career, how do you think that he should be remembered the most? He should be remembered 1st of all as a fantastic competitor: even in a pickup game he would run through a screen to try and block my shot! He was the originator who perfected the jump shot and could hang in the air even when the defense knew exactly what he was going to do. He was also a great team player. When the book came out about Wilt having 20,000 women, Wilt mentioned that Paul was a straight arrow both on and off the court. He always gave 110% and was a friend who changed my life by helping me go to La Salle.

Under The Radar Postseason News, Notes and Highlighted Games – Thursday, March 31

Click here for Jon Teitel’s interview with DePaul women’s head coach Doug Bruno where they discuss the impact of UConn head coach Geno Auriemma

While the Vegas 16 appeared on the surface to be more of a mirage than their advertised #BowlGame4Basketball, the championship game between Oakland and Old Dominion actually had some entertainment value, and even though Old Dominion led for most of this game, they were not quite able to put the Golden Grizzlies away completely. After ODU took a 66-58 lead with about 1:25 remaining and a missed 3-pointer by Oakland’s Kay Felder, it looked like the championship was in the bag for the Monarchs. However, ODU missed a pair of free throws, and a quick flurry of 3s by Oakland’s Dorsey-Walker and Felder suddenly shrunk their deficit to 2. After a successful defensive stop, Vegas 16-MVP Trey Freeman (who led ODU with 24 points and 6 rebounds) made the steal of the game and hit 2 free throws to give the Monarchs a 4-point lead. Kay Felder (24 points for Oakland) hit a 3 with 2 seconds remaining, but ODU was able to dribble out the remaining clock and claimed the inaugural Vegas 16 Championship with a 68-67 victory. Also named to the Vegas 16 All-Tournament team (besides Freeman) were ODU’s Aaron Bacote, Oakland’s Kay Felder and Max Hooper and East Tennessee State’s Ge’Laun Gwyn.

The CBI was also played within the friendly confines of the Silver State (up in Reno), and the Wolf Pack were able to withstand a Morehead State run midway through the 2nd half en route to a 77-68 win at home. D. J. Fenner led Nevada with 26 points; Cameron Oliver also chipped in with 14 points and 11 rebounds. The Eagles got as close as a 3-point deficit with 3:35 to play in the 2nd half, but they were unable to chip away any further at the deficit and will play a win-or-go-home Game 3 against Nevada on Friday night. DeJuan Marrero led Morehead with 13 points and a game-high 12 rebounds.

NIT Championship

(1) VALPARAISO VS. (4) GEORGE WASHINGTON (7:00 PM, ESPN) – In a postseason that has ultimately not been kind to top-seeded teams, the Crusaders are alive and well and playing for their first postseason title of any sort; it would also be the first time a team from the Horizon League could claim an NIT title (and first for a team in Indiana since the Hoosiers defeated Purdue in the 1979 NIT Championship). Even critics that point out that GW got an extra home game because of Florida’s facility renovations were emphatically silenced on Tuesday night when they defeated San Diego State. This would be the first time since 2010 that the A-10 could claim an NIT title; it would also be the first one for GW and the first since Maryland in 1972 for a team in DC/The Beltway.

COACHING CAROUSEL – THE LATEST

  • Travis Ford is now the head coach at Saint Louis; this marks his return to the Atlantic 10 since he left UMass to take over at Oklahoma State.
  • Less than 24 hours after leading Columbia to the CIT Championship, Kyle Smith will leave Columbia and take over as head coach at San Francisco (replacing Rex Walters). He does have prior ties to the WCC with assistant coach gigs at both Saint Mary’s and San Diego.

10 titles…and counting: HoopsHD interviews Doug Bruno about Geno Auriemma

All Geno Auriemma does is win championships: seriously. As head coach of the UConn women’s basketball team he has won 10 of the last 21 D-1 national titles, tying him with Coach John Wooden for the most in the history of the sport, and could be 1 week away from making it 11 of 22. He became head coach of the US women’s national basketball team in 2009, and since then he won a pair of world championships and the 2012 Olympic gold medal. He set an NCAA record several years ago by winning 90 consecutive games and he currently has the highest winning percentage among all active D-1 coaches. He has won 22 conference regular season titles and 21 conference tourney titles. HoopsHD’s Jon Teitel got to chat with Doug Bruno (head coach of the DePaul women’s team) about his friendship with Auriemma and all the success they have had working together with the US national team.

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Geno spent several years as an assistant to Debbie Ryan at Virginia: what made her such a great coach? Debbie is first and foremost a great human being. She was very organized and understood the game well. She had a passion for teaching and was a great recruiter.

He became head coach at UConn in 1985: why did he take the job? The reason he took the job was the same as it would be for any assistant coach: he felt ready to become a head coach and move over those 18” on the bench to try it for themselves. He interviewed for the DePaul job in 1984 but they chose someone else, so he went back to Virginia for a year before getting the job at UConn. At the time it was a losing job because they had not had a winning record in a long time and did not have a lot of resources, so most people did not want to touch it.

In the 1995 NCAA tourney title game he had a 6-PT win over Tennessee to clinch his 1st title: how was he able to overcome a 9-PT deficit in the 2nd half with so many starters in foul trouble? He laid a lot of groundwork from 1985-1995. They got increasingly better each season after starting at the bottom: there was no history or tradition to speak of when he started. 1 of the key things you can do as a coach is get your team to the Final 4 before they are good enough to get there themselves. I am not demeaning those players because they were a special team…but I think that they would also say they did not expect to be in that Final 4. That opened up the recruiting doors and he pounced. Some coaches cannot seize the opportunity when the window opens, but he was able to get superstar players like Rebecca Lobo/Jennifer Rizzotti. Overcoming a 2nd half deficit is a tribute to both his players as well as his on-court coaching ability.

In the 2000 NCAA Final 4 he had a win over Penn State in front of more than 20,000 fans en route to winning the title 2 nights later: how on earth did they hold Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award winner Helen Darling scoreless? It just goes back to recruiting. He is an excellent coach and when he could get great players like Nykesha Sales/Diana Taurasi it helped turn Storrs from a place that was ostracized into a place where you wanted to go and win a title. 1 of the Huskies’ “dirty little secrets” is that they are so efficient on offense that people do not think they play any defense, but they are always 1 of the best defensive teams in the country. Forget good shots: you cannot even get good looks against them!

In the 2002 NCAA tourney his team made 19 of its 1st 21 shots in a 21-PT win over Old Dominion: was it just 1 of those scenarios where every shot they put up seemed to go in because they were all “in the zone”? You are like a parent and you never want to pick 1 player or 1 team over another, but that was a special team in 2002 with Taurasi/Sue Bird/Swin Cash/Asjha Jones/Tameka Williams. It was 1 of the 1st teams where the forwards had guard skills, which is what the sport has evolved into today. There is still a place in the sport for quality post players because you always need size on the floor, but the more guard skills they have then the more the game gets played in its purest form.

In 2006 he was inducted into the Hall of Fame: where does that rank among the highlights of his career? He does not talk about it at all: he cares more about the people around him. 1 of the proudest parts of his career is the number of alums who come back to watch the current team play when they make the Final 4. Inside his home there is not a single tribute to himself: there are only tributes to his players. As he collects title after title there are more and more of his former players there to support him.

He has led his teams to 5 of the 8 undefeated seasons in women’s college basketball history (which could soon be 6 of 9!), and in 2010 he set a record by winning his 90th straight game: how hard is it to keep a team focused for every single game during a streak like that? Nobody in the media wants to hear this but it really is about winning 1 game in a row. He pays great detail to every possession and just wants to win the next game: you try to win 1 game and then try to do it against 89 more times. He wants to make his players better and then the winning will take care of itself. There is a standard of excellence below which he will not let his team fall.

He was coach of team USA at the 2012 Olympics: what did it mean to him to win a gold medal? It was tremendous to win in London: anytime you are asked to represent your country as a coach it is a huge honor. He won world championships in 2010 and 2014 sandwiched around the Olympics: they are like the World Cup of women’s basketball so it is noteworthy to view all of them together. We have not lost the Olympics since 1992 so you are talking about 5 in a row but due to the excellence of all our players and coaches who have been involved it gets taken for granted here in the US.

UConn has faced Notre Dame in each of the past 5 Final 4s (winning the last 3 in a row): where does this rivalry rank among the best in the history of the sport? It has become a great rivalry and ranks right up there with UConn-Tennessee and the old Tennessee-Louisiana Tech-Old Dominion battles of the 1980s. The Irish have put themselves in a position to fight for a title every year (which is a credit to Coach Muffet McGraw) but they just happen to keep running into 1 of the best teams in the history of the sport.

He has won 10 national titles (which ties John Wooden for the most in D-1 basketball history), is a 9-time national COY, and his .877 W/L% is the highest among active D-1 coaches: what makes him such a great coach, and how long does he plan on sticking around for? I have never asked him how long he plans to keep coaching. What makes him so great is that he is good to his players and good for his players. He is a much more sincere person than you might gather from a single 10-second video clip. His former players would not be flocking back to share his success if he had not been such a good guy. He puts in the work and effort to build relationships with his players. He works to be a better coach and better recruiter and he is very competitive, which motivates the work. He also has a great staff so you have to beat him as well as his assistants (Chris Dailey/Shea Ralph/Marisa Moseley): you cannot forget that.

Under The Radar Postseason News, Notes and Highlighted Games – Wednesday, March 30

Click here for Jon Teitel’s interview with former Oklahoma head coach Billy Tubbs and Brian Schodorf (director/producer of “The Wayman Tisdale Story”) as it relates to former OU legend Wayman Tisdale

It became official last night – for the first time since 1975, the Ivy League has another postseason championship thanks to Columbia’s 73-67 win over UC-Irvine in New York City last night. Grant Mullins led the way for Columbia with 20 points, and CIT Tournament MVP Maolo Lo added 13 points for the Lions as well. Irvine did have a 53-48 lead at the under-8 timeout, but Columbia would go on a 17-4 run to take the lead for good.

Besides Maolo Lo, the Lions also had Mullins and Alex Rosenberg named to the All-CIT Championship team (with Luke Petrasek as an honorable mention), UC-Irvine had Mike Best and Alex Young on the championship team (Luke Nelson honorable mention). Elijah Wilson of Coastal Carolina and NJIT’s Damon Lynn were also named to the All-CIT Championship team; other honorable mentions were NJIT’s Ken Coleman and Grand Canyon’s Grandy Glaze.

As you go down Broadway from 116th Street at Columbia University down to 32nd street/Penn Station, there were also 2 NIT semifinal games played at the Garden last night. Valpo and BYU were tied in the final minute of the game, and the Crusaders’ David Skara hit a wide-open 3-pointer with under 20 seconds remaining to give Valpo a 3-point lead. BYU was able to get a 2-point shot on the next possession, but had to foul Valpo to extend the game. After making 1 of 2 free throws, BYU would have the last possession, but their final shot at a game-winner was cleanly blocked, and Valparaiso moved on to the championship with a 72-70 win over BYU.

Their opponent will be George Washington; in a role reversal in the NIT so far, it was not San Diego State who was able to make their opponent tap out with a suffocating defense, but it was the Colonial Army that held the Aztecs to a paltry 28.8% from the field on 17-for-59 shooting in a 65-46 GW victory. Tyler Cavanaugh led the GW parade with a 20-point/11-rebound performance, and Patricio Garino also had 13 points on 6-of-12 shooting for the Colonials.

CBI Championship Series (Game 2)

MOREHEAD STATE AT NEVADA (9:00 PM, ESPNU) – The Eagles held serve at home in Game 1 with an 86-83 victory on Monday night, but now travel for the final two games (if needed) to Reno to face the Wolf Pack in their own backyard. They should be well-attended by the locals; Nevada has had far and away the 3 biggest attendance figures with 4,524 fans in Round 1 against Nevada, 6,053 against Eastern Washington and 6,133 against Vermont. By comparison, the next largest crowd was 4,187 who attended Game 1 in Morehead, Kentucky.

Vegas 16 Championship

OLD DOMINION VS. OAKLAND (10:00 PM, CBS Sports Network) – While UC-Santa Barbara was able to stay competitive with ODU for a half and briefly take the lead, it was clear that the Monarchs were large and in charge last night. Aaron Bacote led ODU with 26 points and 8 rebounds; Trey Freeman did get a double-double (18 pts, 10 rebounds) for the Monarchs. Their opponent will be the Oakland Golden Grizzlies; Oakland also pulled away from ETSU after a close first half; they ended up winning 104-81 thanks to a triple-double from Kay Felder (29 pts, 10 rebounds and 10 assists) and 28 points from Max Hooper in just 24 minutes of play. Did we forget to remind the public that they’re playing the games at the Mandalay Bay Arena? Plenty of tickets still remain.

Nobody beats the Tis: HoopsHD interviews Brian Schodorf and Billy Tubbs about Wayman Tisdale

Buddy Hield is sensational: 2-time Big 12 POY, the favorite for 2016 national POY, and if he has 2 more great games left in him then maybe even a tourney MOP award on Monday night and an eternal place in the hearts of Sooner fans everywhere.  However, when I think about Oklahoma basketball the name that always comes to mind is Wayman Tisdale: 3-time Big 8 POY, the 1st D-1 player to ever be named 1st-team AP All-American in each of his freshman/sophomore/junior seasons, 1984 Olympic gold medalist, and election to the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009.  After averaging 15.3 PPG during a 12-year NBA career, he retired in 1997 to focus on his first love: music.  He passed away in 2009 at age 44 due to cancer, and the following year the United States Basketball Writers Association renamed its outstanding freshman award as the Wayman Tisdale Award.  With the Sooners ready to play in their 1st Final 4 since 2002, HoopsHD’s Jon Teitel got to chat with 2 men who know quite a lot about the legacy of this outstanding player who died too soon: Brian Schodorf (director/producer of “The Wayman Tisdale Story”) and Billy Tubbs (Tisdale’s college coach).

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Wayman’s father was a well-known pastor in Tulsa, OK, and church was so important to Wayman that Coach Tubbs allegedly changed the team’s Sunday practice from the morning to the evening to allow his star player to attend Sunday morning services at his father’s church: was he worried that the rest of team would not appreciate doing something like that just to please a freshman, or was it worth accommodating his religious beliefs because he was a McDonald’s All-American? Brian Schodorf: I think that story was a bit embellished. They usually did not practice on Sundays anyway but if they did then Coach Tubbs would move it to the evening. Tubbs would often go with him to church to watch him play bass in the church band: he was a great guitar player. Billy Tubbs: I do not really remember that but I would always try to accommodate practices so that people could go to church. Sunday practices were more in line with church…or a Dallas Cowboys game!

In December 1983 he had a career-high 22 REB and broke Wilt Chamberlain’s conference record by scoring 61 PTS in a 40-PT win over Texas-San Antonio: where does that rank among the greatest performances you have ever seen? BS: At that point it was definitely the biggest performance in the history of the Big 8. It was not in the NCAA tourney but it is still up there and may still be a conference record. BT: I do not know how many PTS Chamberlain had (52 in his college debut vs. Northwestern  in 1956) but Wayman made the game look so easy that you never realized how many PTS he had scored himself. 1 time he had a chance to break a record and I took him out because I was unaware, but after my SID informed me I put him back in. His turnaround jumper could beat a double or triple-team.

What are your memories of the 1984 NCAA tourney (Tisdale had 36 PTS/11 REB, but Roosevelt Chapman scored 41 PTS in a 4-PT win by Dayton)? BT: Chapman had a great game but we were really disappointed with the loss. We had a 1st round bye but Dayton had our full attention after they beat LSU.

He led the 1984 Olympic team with 6.4 RPG en route to winning a gold medal: what was his secret to being a great rebounder, and what did it mean to him to him to win a gold medal? BS: Those Olympics were tough for him because Coach Bobby Knight challenged him to be a better rebounder/defender. Wayman was a nice guy who always smiled and Knight did not like that, but he found that Wayman was a warrior who could overcome all the yelling in practice to help win it all. Charles Barkley/Karl Malone/John Stockton got cut so making the team showed how good he really was. BT: It is a great honor for anyone to win a gold medal: it was big. What made him such a great rebounder was his strength in a crowd, a knack for knowing where the ball would come off the glass, and being an explosive jumper.

Take me through the 1985 NCAA tourney:
He scored 29 PTS (14-16 FG) in a 6-PT win over Illinois State: was it just 1 of those scenarios where every shot he put up seemed to go in because he was “in the zone”? BT: Every time he shot the ball I felt good about it. I had a lot of confidence in him and playing in his hometown of Tulsa made it very special for him.

He had 23 PTS/11 REB and made the game-winning shot that bounced around the rim several times before going in with 2 seconds left to clinch a 2-PT OT win over Louisiana Tech (led by 20 PTS/16 REB from Karl Malone): did you think the shot was going in? BT: The neat thing about that was since the ball took so much time to get in the hole it took a lot of time off the clock.

He had 11 PTS (on a season-low 10 shots)/12 REB and Anthony Bowie missed a 20-foot shot at the buzzer in a 2-PT loss to Memphis State: did you think the shot was going in, and what was the reaction like when you got back to campus? BT: We felt like we had a team that might win the national championship so it was a big-time disappointment. Memphis had us out-sized and it came down to who could make the plays at the end. Bowie took a nice shot: we played hard despite losing some guys to foul trouble late in the game.

He was a 3-time Big 8 POY and the 1st player to ever be named a 1st-team AP All-American in each of his 1st 3 years: what did it mean to him to win such outstanding honors? BS: It meant a lot to him and he obviously cherished it but he was such a humble guy that it did not change him. It was quite a feat. BT: We took all honors as a team honor: he was great but he had some good players around him. The guys that played with him were very unselfish: I never sensed any jealousy from his teammates as he was getting all his accolades because we won a lot of games. Wayman was definitely a team player so it was me who insisted that the ball go to him inside.

In 1985 he declared early for the draft and was picked 2nd overall by Indiana (1 spot behind his Olympic teammate Patrick Ewing): did he see that as a validation of his college career, or the realization of a lifelong dream of reaching the NBA, or other? BS: He told me that it was 1 of the biggest days of his life. The Indiana fans were holding up signs saying, “We got Wayman!”, which made him happy. They wanted to use him as a franchise player to build around. BT: Most players have a goal of making it to the NBA and I think it was big for him to get drafted very high.

What are your memories of Game 7 of 1995 Western Conference Semifinals when he played for Phoenix (Mario Elie made a 3-PT shot with 7.1 seconds left in a 1-PT win on the road by eventual champion Houston)? BS: He went to Phoenix to try and win a championship: your career is defined by where you end up and the players around you. It was his 1st chance to be on a good playoff team. Even though he was 1 of the best power forwards in the league, people had not seen him play very much because he was on some horrible teams, so when he got to Phoenix he felt that he was finally in the NBA. The Suns just could not hit any of their FTs that night when it counted, but Houston had Hakeem Olajuwon/Clyde Drexler and were the defending champs. BT: I think it was a big disappointment for him because he and some of his teammates (like Danny Manning) gave up bigger salary offers to go to Phoenix and try to win a title.

He finished his NBA career with 50.5 FG%, which is just outside the top-100 all-time: what was his secret to being a great shooter? BS: He just had a nice “flipper”: a left-handed shot that was real smooth. He was not a 3-PT gunner but was a natural shooter. BT: He was a natural, which says it all. He had the perfect shot to make our offense work at Oklahoma. We had to have a guy on the block who could make a turnaround jumper, so our offense was the perfect one for him despite being a post player who was only 6’6”. I had a lot of great players but without that kind of player we would not have a good team.

In 2007 he was diagnosed with cancer and he passed away in 2009 after being elected to the Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame: what impact did his death have on you, and how do you want him to be remembered the most? BS: Oklahoma made it to the Elite 8 in 1985, but had they gone to the Final 4 and/or won it all then he might have gone down as perhaps the best college player ever. Oklahoma was a football school so he really put the entire program on his back. I have talked to a million people (Michael Jordan, Toby Keith, etc.), and they all said that Wayman was a guy who loved to make other people happy. I think he was the most-liked guy in the history of the NBA. Every time you saw him it was like a party bus…and he was the driver! BT: It had a great impact on me and my family: my son came to Oklahoma at the same time that Wayman ded and they were like brothers. It was tragic to say the least.